|| ||Bruce Perens <bruce-AT-perens.com>|
|| ||This weekend's witch-hunt|
|| ||Mon, 18 Sep 2006 18:34:54 -0700|
Dear Busybox folks,
Last week, I obejcted to Rob Landley changing the license statement on
portions of the busybox code that I wrote. After some (acrimonious, on
his part) discussion, I left him a final directive: note that Busybox
contains some of code copyrighted by me, and that it my code should be
licensable under the GPL, irrespective of version. This corresponds to
the license preference on my original release of the software.
The sensible action for Rob to have taken, at that point, would have
been to insert a two-sentence note into the Busybox license that would
have looked like this:
Portions of this program are copyrighed by Bruce Perens. Those
portions may be used under the GNU General Public License, irrespective
That declaration would have respected my rights as a copyright holder,
and would have allowed Rob to make the license change to GPL2 only for
the overall program that he wished.
Having added that declaration, Rob could have gone on with his life as a
productive coder. Instead, Rob embarked on a days-long forensic
analysis, his log of which is visible at
It appears that he's putting in a great deal of work to remove all
traces of Bruce Perens from the Busybox software. He's missed pieces,
but I feel little motivation to assist him by naming them.
I think it would be fair to classify his behavior as "over the top". I
don't believe my correspondence here has been sufficient cause for this
extremely nonlinear response. However, it's free software, and Rob has
the right to do what he did. You, however, might want to think twice
before you go along with this strangeness.
I've been guilty of "over the top" behavior in my time, and can
sympathize with Rob while at the same time I don't want to leave him in
charge of the only development version of Busybox. I have respect for
Rob as a coder and great respect for Erik who put in a tremendous lot of
work on this program.
I do not feel a need to be the major coder of Busybox, but feel that a
fork is necessary and will put in the work to make one.
I once was very successful in distributing the Debian base system
development to many separate package maintainers, having got it as one
monolithic package. Perhaps this is possible. I see some new technical
directions that are possible.
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